ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia on Wednesday released a report by the Palast Investigative Fund that concluded the state had likely removed the voter registrations of nearly 200,000 Georgia citizens in 2019.
The removals were on the grounds that they had moved from the address on their voter registration application, however, it was determined that none of those citizens had moved. The ACLU said the state’s removals will likely affect the most vulnerable: young voters, voters of lower income, and citizens of racial groups that have been denied their right to vote in the past.
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 makes such purges voluntary for each state. According to the NVRA, a state “may” establish a voter removal program “under which change-of-address information supplied by the Postal Service through its licensees is used to identify registrants whose addresses may have changed.”
The Palast Investigative Fund found that of the 313,243 Georgia voters who supposedly moved from their registration addresses, 198,351 had not moved. Yet, the state removed their voter registrations.
“There are tens of thousands of Georgia voters who have registered, properly maintained a residence in the same county, and nevertheless have had their registration deleted by the state of Georgia,” Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia said. “We encourage everyone to check their voter status. Many people on this State’s list have every right to assume they are registered to vote. We want you to have time to re-register.”
“The results of our investigation are breathtaking and heartbreaking: 198,000 Georgia citizens wrongly purged from voter rolls-using a system which tends to target younger voters and voters of color. The state claims these voters moved, but the nation’s top experts in address verification say they haven’t,” said journalist Greg Palast, “We cannot imagine where the Secretary of State got his ‘mover’ list.
But we do know, from our name-by-name review by our experts, the same ones used by Amazon and Home Depot, licensed by the Post Office, that 3 out of 4 names the Secretary of State claims are on the Post Office’s change-of-address registry are not on the Post Office list.”
The Palast Investigative Fund created a website where Georgians can check to see if they are on the purge list. Click here to check your status.